SpringerMaterials: The Landolt-Börnstein Database

The SpringerMaterials innovation team (Dr. Thomas Mager, left)

The SpringerMaterials innovation team (Dr. Thomas Mager, left)

While the buzz about Informa’s bid to buy Springer Science + Business Media was making headline news, Springer’s crew at Stand 410 was busy with the debut of its latest product, SpringerMaterials.

Scientists, researchers, and engineers can now access the 400-volume Landolt-Börnstein series with a single keystroke. Billed as “the world’s largest resource for physical and chemical data,” SpringerMaterials—The Landolt-Börnstein Database brings the print collection’s rich content into one easy-to-access online platform (91,000 online documents, more than 1 million literature citations, 165,000 substances, and 3,000 properties).

The core of the SpringerMaterials database is two-fold, according to Thomas Mager, vice president of reference and database publishing at Springer. “First, we wanted to build a user interface with a search engine, and second, we wanted to make the content findable,” he says. The content is actually annotated, he says, with a content layer on the screen that has an added “ghost or shadow world” overtop that includes a thesaurus, metadata, and deep indexing to offer quick, easy search capabilities. “The feedback from our customers who were involved in the trial has been overwhelming in a positive sense,” says Mager.

Users can search in several ways: via a Google-like search box, an advanced search tab that creates a Boolean search term automatically as the user sets up the parameters, or a color-coded periodic table. User-friendly speed typing also suggests terms and available content during a search; results also include text surrounding the search string to provide context, and faceted results display offerings in key subject areas (molecules and radicals, crystallography, etc.). There’s also a REACH tab to provide instant info for EU regulatory documentation.

And as for the buzz about negotiations between Informa and Springer? Yep, they’re true. Eric Merkel-Sobotta, executive vice president for corporate communications, confirmed that negotiations were ongoing, “but not exclusive … we’re currently in talks with several parties.” Stay tuned for more developments.

One Response to “SpringerMaterials: The Landolt-Börnstein Database”

  1. Marydee Ojala December 11, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    And now we know that the Informa purchase of Springer didn’t happen. Instead it’s Sweden’s EQT Partners (a Wallenburg family company) and Singapore’s GIC (owned by the Singapore government) buying the company from private equity firms Canvin and Cinven. Let’s hope the purchase results in increased support for Springer’s product line.